Posted on 22nd November 2013

How to Energy Proof your Home for the New Year

Martin Williamson, Head of Residential Property
The clocks have changed, there is a nip in the air and everyone is at least thinking about decking their homes with bells and holly. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to get your home ready for the cold winter months ahead.

1. Are there better deals out there?

Despite recent price hikes, there are ways to improve your lot when it comes to fuel bills. First of all, many of the Big Six energy companies have energy saving plans which sometimes include devices to measure how much energy you are using. This will help to improve energy efficiency by making you more aware of exactly what you are using and when. Many companies also offer dual fuel plans which can be more energy efficient. It is always worth checking one of the utility comparison and advice sites including Which? and Moneysupermarket to make sure you are on the best value plan.

2. Go paperless

Switching to paperless billing or setting up a direct debit may save money on a monthly basis. Always submit actual meter readings as opposed to relying on estimated readings, as this can ensure that you are not paying too much or too little and there are no surprises in store.

3. Insulate your home

Most utility companies are encouraging customers to improve their homes and rewards include help towards the cost of improvements now and lower bills in the long term. Check in the first instance whether you have cavity wall and loft insulation or speak to your landlord if you are a tenant.

4. Look after your heating system and it will look after you.

Whether you have a gas boiler or are heating your home with electric storage heaters, it is worth having them serviced regularly, at least once every 12 months and before the cold period starts.

5. Bleed your radiators

Radiators can only work efficiently when any air has been removed from them. This is done with the help of a radiator key.

6. Keep the heating on

When temperatures plummet, its sometimes best to keep the heating on low, particularly if you are leaving the house for more than a day or so. This will help prevent pipes bursting during a cold snap.

7. Dont heat the back bedroom

If you have a room thats hardly used, it can be left unheated. Put down a draft excluder to stop the cold spreading throughout the house.

8. Check fires and fire alarms

Theres nothing nicer than a real fire in the winter months, but with the cosiness comes an increased danger of fires. Incidences of household fires creep up in the autumn and winter months, so its vitally important that you do not leave a fire unattended for long periods and that your propertys smoke alarms are in good working order.